Announcement   Unique insect hotels, hand-crafted from locally salvaged materials. Designed for the gardener looking to attract pollinators and build habitat for native bees.

Announcement

Last updated on Dec 9, 2015

Unique insect hotels, hand-crafted from locally salvaged materials. Designed for the gardener looking to attract pollinators and build habitat for native bees.

Leah Grunzke

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Leah Grunzke

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About

Pollinator conservation in your own backyard

My name is Leah Grunzke, and I am a plant geek.
My enthusiasm for the green and growing world of Montana has led me down many a twisting backroad, from the river's bottom to the mountain ridges, and eventually right here to this page. After receiving a degree in Horticultural Science from Montana State University, I spent the following decade studying native plants of the Rocky Mountains, working with nonprofit organizations on conservation outreach, developing plant-based curriculum for schools and informal science education programs, and exploring the dynamics and patterns of the natural world. Over the years, as my understand of plant ecology grew, I developed an unshakable fascination with plant-insect relationships. Of this, my love of bees was born.
I started making wild bee houses to accompany workshops on backyard pollinator conservation, to spread the word about the hundreds of species of native bees that live in every corner of the globe. These docile wild bees play a huge role in pollinating our fruit and vegetable crops and preserving our native plant biodiversity. Helping provide habitat for these hard little workers is easy and endlessly fascinating.
I build my wild bee houses out of salvaged bits of lumber, tapping together otherwise unusable odds and ends into unique and whimsical frames, and fill them with locally harvested, hollow-stemmed plant materials. The bees love them. I hope you do to.
If you're interested in checking out some of my Montana backroad adventures, please visit my photography page... http://floramontana.artistwebsites.com
Thanks, and all the best,
~Leah

Shop members

  • Leah Grunzke

    Owner

Shop policies

Last updated on November 4, 2015
Thank you for visiting Flora montana's Wild House of Bees shop! Please feel free to ask about custom designed bee houses to suit your particular space. I'm happy to work with you in order to help create your vision!

Accepted payment methods

  • Visa
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  • Discover
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  • Klarna
  • Sofort
  • Ideal
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  • GiftcardAccepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Payment
This shop accepts credit, debit, PayPal and Etsy gift cards.
Shipping
I make every effort to have the Wild House of Bees nesting boxes in stock and ready to ship within a few days. The houses are made from salvaged lumber and locally harvested plant materials. If availability of construction materials is an issue, shipping may take up to 1-2 weeks.
Additional policies and FAQs
Q. Is this a house for honeybees?
Nope! The honeybees we have here (Apis mellifera) come from Europe. There are thousands of species of bees native to North America...mason bees, leafcutters, sweat bees, carpenter bees, masked bees and more! These "solitary bees" don't form hives, don't make honey, and rarely, if ever, sting! They build nests in cavities (holes in the ground, in dead twigs, or hollow stems) and are important pollinators of native plants, fruit trees and early-season crops.

Q. How does wild beekeeping work?
In spring and summer, wild bees find sheltered cavities to nest in...like the tubes of your wild bee house! Here they'll deposit eggs, along with a little food (pollen) for the growing larva, in cells lined with mud or leaves. The young bees spend the next winter nestled in these tubes, and emerge in spring to mate and build their own nests. Every few years, you can remove the back mounting board of your bee house to clean out or replace the tubes. This will help discourage parasites and other bee pests. You can gather your own hollow-stemmed plants, or contact me to order a new bundle.

Q. What do native bees need to stay healthy?
FOOD: Native bees like lots of flowering plants around to collect pollen and nectar from. This is what they feed their young!
WATER: A source of water is important to all wildlife. Also make sure there is some mud around; many bees will use it to build their nest cells.
SHELTER: Try to keep your bee house out of heavy rain and winds. Hang it about five feet off the ground, facing south or east toward the warm sun.

Q. Why be a wild beekeeper?
CONSERVATION: By wild beekeeping, you replace nesting sites lost due to habitat destruction, and help conserve the native biodiversity in your region
POLLINATION: As honeybee populations decline, we rely more on wild bees for pollination. That means more flowers, more food, and a healthier environment for everyone
OBSERVATION: Watching wild bees nest year after year is endlessly fascinating, and a great way to learn about local plant and insect ecology

You can learn more about wild beekeeping, native plants and pollinators, wildlife gardening and more at www.floramontana.org.
~~Happy Bees, Happy World~~